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August 29th, 2017 / Daily News, Tanzania

Scientists have identified the first ever genetic markers associated with resistance to two deadly cassava viral diseases in Tanzania’s grown varieties.

The International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), in a statement availed to the ‘Daily News’ yesterday, identified the two varieties as Namikonga and Albert.

Mostly grown by Tanzanian farmers, the varieties are capable of withstanding the devastating Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD) and Cassava Mosaic Disease (CMD), unlike other varieties.

A team of scientists that has been studying the varieties’ DNA has successfully identified the genetic markers linked to their resistance to each of the viral diseases. The markers can be used to speed up the often long and expensive conventional breeding for cassava varieties with dual resistance to the diseases. “We are very happy with the findings of our studies which are a result of over six years of research. Read more